Cruel Summer is here one more week! After the previous episode, we return to review Cruel Summer 1×04 “You Don’t Hunt, You Don’t Eat”, an episode that introduces us more deeply in the nightmare that Kate lived and in the life of her and her family. The way some characters change and others don’t … and of course some answers along with more questions.
Here we go!
Kate’s sister is difficult. At first, Kate tried to reach out to her, tried to talk to her and lean on her when she needed help from her, when she needed to vent and talk about their family. But she doesn’t want to do that. Kate and her mother … she always saw them as careerists.
She always thought Kate’s mother was a gold digger, ready to take advantage of her father and the way she is … didn’t change her mind. She’s always aware of appearances, of what they will say, of putting the facade of perfection in every situation, no matter how horrible. In short, like a plastic person, prefabricated.
As for Kate, she always saw her as the perfect daughter, the spoiled girl with the easy life, that she always had everything as soon as she opened her mouth and that she had no idea of the world. That she had no idea what it was like to fight hard for something or the hardships, the discrimination, having to prove yourself twice.
And, in part, she is right. Kate always had life designed for her to be perfect. She lived in a small bubble in which she didn’t know the real world. That wasn’t her fault … but it was like that. But that is no excuse for no one wanting to listen to her, for no one being there for her. Her life was designed to be perfect … but it never was, not where it really mattered.
Kate’s sister later regrets this attitude and the roles are reversed. She wants to reach out to Kate, support her, be there for her but Kate … doesn’t want to know anything about her. She wasn’t there when she really needed her and now, well, she doesn’t want or need her help. But she is not willing to give up so easily.
If she can’t get to Kate in the traditional way … she’ll get to her via computer, hiding her identity. She wants to help her, she wants to be there for her to help her in what she can to fix what is broken in her now. I really like that she has realized that she screwed up at first, she has learned from it and is trying to fix it.
I also love that we have been seeing small parts of hell that Kate survived. And they have not done it in a morbid way. We know what happened there but they have saved us the most unpleasant scenes – learn Outlander, please, learn – while they taught us what that nightmare was for Kate, the physical and psychological damage that she had to endure. It teaches us her point of view, what she survived … but it doesn’t delight in it.
Due to this bad relationship between stepsisters, Kate feels lonely. On the one hand, she needs to talk to someone and, on the other, she doesn’t like to air family matters outside the family, she always taught her that dirty laundry is washed at home. But no one in the family wants to talk to her. Kate has no one, she feels lonely and she needs to talk, she needs support, she needs someone to listen to her … and there is that pig.
He takes advantage of this vulnerable moment in Kate, of her feeling of loneliness, to be there for her when no one is and to gain her trust. I have to say that I have been suspicious of Kate’s reaction to him since she saw him come in on that party. Kate jumps the moment she feels his presence and the look he gives her … it gives her shaking chills and not in a good way.
At first, I thought that he had already tried to take advantage of her when they met, but later, I think nothing happened at that moment because what he wants is to gain her trust. Just something in Kate tells her that this man is disturbing, there is an alarm inside her that warns her that she should not trust him. Her body knows more because it feels that something is wrong with that disgusting pig.
The fact is that he is there for her when no one is … and it has already happened twice. This is the way predators approach their prey, he gains her trust so Kate doesn’t sense danger with him … he’s horrible and gross and I hate it. But it works for him.
And that’s precisely what Kate also hates. She had no one. Nobody wanted to talk to her, nobody took her into account. Are they not also guilty of what happened to her? After all, if someone had listened to her, taken the interest of trying to find out what was wrong with her and being by her side, that disgusting predator would not have had a chance to gain her trust, to enter her life.
But everyone was too busy to care. Her father was too happy and he was not an option to speak of, her mother was still obsessed with appearing to be the perfect mother and the perfect wife, too obsessed with empty appearances to care about anything else and her sister … well, she was too busy making it clear to her what she thought of her mother and her, and that she doesn’t consider them like family.
So Kate blames them all. And I understand it. Of course, only that pig is guilty of what he did but everyone, in one way or another, without intention and without realizing what was happening, made that possible. And now that Kate is back … she just despises them for it.
Kate finds an unexpected friend for everyone: Mallory, Jeanette’s old friend. Both go to therapy for different things but they meet and, somehow, there is something that unites them. Jeanette is like the connection between the two but there is so much more. Mallory is not someone to tiptoe around her or treat her differently and she offers Kate a respite, a way not to think, to escape her life.
It is not exactly a healthy path. But it works for Kate and that makes her bond grow to the point where they become best friends. And I’m amazed at the hatred Mallory has for Jeanette. I understand that she dumped her but … does she really believe that she was capable of doing something like that? Although I suppose so. For her, Jeanette would be capable of everything to maintain her life as a popular girl and a perfect life, she feels that she no longer knows her so she supposes that it’s possible. And I don’t agree but I can understand it.
However, things take a strange turn with that note sent to Kate. “Liar”. Someone knows that she is lying but who? Jeanette is the most obvious choice but the one that fits the least for me. She would gain nothing by sending that note and, in fact, now she’s trying to go unnoticed.
Mallory doesn’t fit in here either because I don’t see that she could benefit from this and she believes what Kate says, it doesn’t seem like she’s questioning it. The next option is Kate’s sister, with whom she is unknowingly chatting. Perhaps, the conversation we saw in episode 2 was not a conversation between accomplices but a talk in which Kate was venting.
But there is something that doesn’t fit me here. Her sister seems to just want to help her out, she doesn’t seem complicit in anything, she just tries to get to Kate the way she can. She tries to support her. And really that conversation from episode 2 felt like a conversation between accomplices. Also, I don’t think her sister wanted to send her that letter … so that leads us to conclude that someone else we don’t know yet is aware of Kate’s lies. Who would be? We will have to wait a little longer to find out.
And here ends our Cruel Summer review. We will be back next week with a new one!